Last One Standing: Arkansas

When I noticed the beautiful photograph entitled, The Last One Standing: Arkansas, I was unaware of the beautiful story that accompanied this purchase. I thought I was simply buying a holiday present for a loved one and art enthusiast, yet I was happily surprised to learn the history that accompanied this striking terrain captured on film. Before exchanging text messages with Adam Coppola of Coppola Photography, I researched his company, and then, learned his story.

Five years ago, Adam and his wife, Christy, who is as adorable in person as she is in the photographs, cycled all 50 states, logging 12, 591 miles and raising a bit over $25,000 for two charities, World Bicycle Relief and Achilles International. Throughout what must have been an incredible adventure, Adam and Christy documented their journey through photographs and blogs.

According to their website, www.giveabike.com, the purpose of their Give a Bike: 50 State Tour was "to increase the awareness of the mobility, health, and happiness that a bike can provide for an underprivileged child and a rehabilitating United States Veteran." These two dedicated a year of their lives in order to give bikes to individuals in need. When you read their story, and then meet them in person, it truly makes you take a moment to reflect and evaluate your own goals and ambitions.

It was a grey and very rainy day when I met this duo at La Cuisine, the great little eatery on 63 Grove Street, New Haven, adjacent to our office, but their warmth and friendliness eased the worries of the powerful downpour outside. It seems a bit trite to use the term nice to describe the Coppolas, and it is not with that intent by any means. But, it was refreshing that they were just so nice. Smiling, engaging, polite, and truly enthusiastic about their professional and personal lives, Adam and Christy spoke of their numerous passions, cycling and photography emphasized, and I relayed how I work part-time at Mills Law Firm, a firm that represents cyclists throughout Connecticut.

Adam's photographs decorate the walls of this Cafe and Market, including images of an elephant family from Masai Mara, Kenya, Alaskan bison, and horses from South Dakota. The colors are striking, and the images are unique. And, gosh, when you gaze at the animals captured, you would love to know what they were thinking.

Yet, now that I know the Coppolas' beautiful story and understand the reasons these photographs were secured on film, these photographs seem that much more appealing. If you are in this area, please take a minute to enjoy a tasty lunch and see if a photograph speaks to you. That is exactly the reason I purchased mine.